Washington Law Review


In Jacobson v. United States, the Supreme Court narrowed the types of evidence that the prosecution may rely on to show that a defendant was predisposed to commit a crime in cases where the defendant raises the entrapment defense. This Note examines the development of the entrapment doctrine and the doctrine's focus on the jury's role as the arbiter of the defendant's guilt or innocence. The Note argues that the Supreme Court strayed from its previous analysis of the defense by broadening the scenarios in which judges may find entrapment as a matter of law. Judicial activism in the context of entrapment is undesirable because the defense is intended to free persons who the community—as represented by the jury—determines to be innocent, rather than a tool which judges may use to control police conduct.

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